Web Banner Tairawhiti

More Fanworms call for thorough check of boats

16 Nov 2016

More Fanworms call for thorough check of boats

Three large Mediterranean Fanworm have been removed from the inner harbour by marine biosecurity divers conducting surveillance for the marine pest.

Council’s shared services science manager Lois Easton was disappointed that more of the invasive pest species had been found during the monitoring exercise after the pest was first discovered in the port in June last year.

“The Fanworm is an invasive pest, we don’t want it establishing in our waters,” says Ms Easton.

One Fanworm was located in the vicinity of the Lone Star Restaurant while the other 2 in proximity to previous finds along the training wall.

The specialist divers from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council were confident they’ve removed them all, but samples collected will be sent to Ministry of Primary Industries to check if they have spawned.

“The pest can spread rapidly and harm our marine environment and starve out native species for food and living space.

“The Fanworm particularly likes to establish itself on hard structures like jetties and pontoons, and the hulls of boats,” says Ms Easton, “which is how they’ve spread from harbours around the country.”

Boat owners in the inner harbour are urged to help prevent the spread of pests to check, clean and antifoul your hull regularly and thoroughly.

It’s important to clean your hull thoroughly, lifting out and cleaning right down to the bottom of and under the keel, in live bait tanks or bow thrusters too if you have them.

What you can do to help:

  • Regularly clean your hull and equipment (like buoys, mooring lines, fishing gear, boat trailers).
  • Dispose of any debris removed to a landfill.
  • Keep your antifoul coating in good condition and reapply as required.

Find out more about the Fanworm and how to prevent infestations on the MPI website(external link).